Peter Farrell

One week on from the Con & Annie Kirby decider at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, the Munster venue hosted another night of top-class racing as the opening round heats of the Epic Hero Limerick Oaks got underway on Friday night.

The standout entry in the Limerick feature was Raha Mofo, who arrived in Limerick hoping to secure an historic treble of Oaks victories after landing the Sporting Press Irish Oaks at Shelbourne Park and the GRI Galway Oaks late last year. Scheduled to run in the opening heat of the night, the sensational black certainly didn’t disappoint as she justified her 4/5 price tag to run out a convincing winner.

Trained by Murt Leahy for Marissa Molloy, Raha Mofo arrived in Limerick last week expected to go well, however, she met all sorts of traffic which ultimately put an end to her hopes on that particular night. That said, that outing was to stand her in good stead as she returned to Dock Road for her opening round Oaks assignment and she returned to something of her best form to run out a comfortable winner. Running from trap four, Raha Mofo pinged the lids to lead early on but was tapped for a bit of early pace as Strideaway Lena made rapid progress on the rails in trap two. The pair went toe to toe down the back and there was little to separate the duo entering the penultimate turn. However, as expected, Raha Mofo was to come into her own in the latter stages of the contest and the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Clares Queen was to quickly draw clear on the run for home. Staying on very strongly, Raha Mofo crossed the line with four lengths to spare over Strideaway Lena in second. The time was a rapid 28.34 with Beaming Becca and Burgess Senorita claiming the final qualifying positions in behind.


The second heat of the night was proof that Raha Mofo wasn’t going to get everything her own way in this Oaks as Burgess Rapid produced a fine performance for JJ Fennelly and Sheila Spillane.

A winner of two of her last three starts prior to arriving at Limerick, Burgess Rapid went to traps as the 11/8 second favourite behind Glengar Martha and she quickly took charge of this contest with a swift exit from trap one. Cutting to nose off last week’s Sean O’Connor Cup winner, Una Maachina, at the opener, Burgess Rapid proceeded to open a healthy advantage down the back straight with little to no inroads being made in behind. Maintaining a powerful gallop rounding the final two turns, the daughter of Burgess Bucks and Burgess Helena stormed across the line to record a four and a half length victory over the staying-on Quivers Magic in second. The time was 28.50 with Una Maachina and Glengar Martha claiming the final two qualifying positions in third and fourth.


In the final heat of the night, Cheeky Chloe sprang a shock as she won at odds of 8/1 for owner Trevor O’Connell.

The most open heat of the night, Glengar Aurora went to traps as the 6/4 favourite but it was Cheeky Chloe and Courty Girl who disputed the early running from traps two and six respectively. The inside line proved crucial on this occasion as Cheeky Chloe rounded in front and she held a three parts of a length lead entering the back with the chasing pack all close enough if good enough in behind. Cheeky Chloe was very determined out in front however, and the daughter of Droopys Sydney and Impact Mixture maintained her slender advantage all the way to the winning line to record a one length victory over Courty Girl in second. The time was 28.90 with Rafas Friend and Glengar Aurora claiming the other two qualifying positions.